Teen snowboarding hero returns

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Arrowtown whizzkid Hamish Bagley proudly shows off his gong after snatching shock silver at the biggest amateur snowboarding competition in the United States. 

Hamish, 14, touched down in Nelson yesterday, on his way home after taking second place at the USA Snowboard Association Nationals’ under-14, or “breaker boy”, halfpipe at Colorado’s Copper Mountain last week. 

The prestigious event attracts 1500 of the best young American skiers and snowboarders, all vying for national titles. 

“When I heard [I was second], I didn’t really believe it – when it actually happened, it started to kick in and it was quite good,” Hamish tells Mountain Scene. 

The youngster’s Stateside exploits have impressed Snow Sports NZ. 

“This is a major accomplishment for a [Kiwi] development-level athlete,” spokeswoman Tania Pilkinton says. 

Hamish spent the last nine weeks training in Colorado with the NZ Winter Performance Programme 2014 team. 

Prior to the Copper Mountain event, he was ranked 47th in a field of 55. 

On the day, it was the bad weather that helped him, he says. 

“No one could get up the pipe wall. I was the only one who was really getting up and out of the pipe and spinning.” 

Hamish celebrated by eating Wendy’s fast food – “that’s my favourite”.